Journey Booker Required To Pay Again $155K After Scamming Vacationers

Scamming is at an all-time excessive in america and the journey and tourism business isn’t any exception. Nevertheless, a California journey booker is studying the laborious that wrongfully taking funds comes with a hefty penalty. After she scammed 37 vacationers out of over 150 thousand {dollars}, journey booker Wendy Tenedora Wong is in scorching water for her shady actions.

On August 23, Wong pleaded responsible to 2 felony counts. She’d initially been going through 50 prices following years of wrongdoing by way of her firm Home of Aloha Hawaii, in accordance with the Santa Clara County District Legal professional’s Workplace. To keep away from jail time, Wong has to pay again $155.002.32 in restitution to 37 victims earlier than her sentencing on November 4th.

A Historical past of Scheming

travel booker

Photograph Courtesy of
Anna Shvets.

There Are Extra Victims Out There

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Photograph Courtesy of RODNAE Productions.

Wong solely has to pay again a portion of the funds she’s stolen from journey reserving purchasers all through the years. In whole, there have been 48 victims who misplaced over $200,000 as a consequence of Wong’s reserving rip-off. Nevertheless, not all of the victims requested to obtain restitution.

Sadly, avid vacationers weren’t the one victims of Wong’s rip-off. Her mother and father spoke with ABC Information 7 and confirmed they’d additionally been scammed by their daughter’s firm. Wong’s father, who goes by Junior, emailed the next assertion to the information affiliate:

“Thanks for the chance and belief that your investigative journalism will present reduction for a number of the victims and maybe, extra importantly, forestall future victims. The Tenedora household grieves over the devastating losses to so many together with a number of of them. Harmless victims won’t ever get their dream holidays or the weddings of their goals. Nobody will ever be paid again, the cash is gone. Except for stealing their cash, betraying childhood pals, household and their referrals is heinous. Home of Aloha is nothing greater than a Home of Playing cards, Home of Deceit and Lies.”

Wong’s father and stepmother declare she owes them over $20,000. Though she declined to remark, Wong emailed the information station after the story ran saying the next:

“People who know the historical past between my dad, my stepmom, and I, aren’t shocked by their actions. They’re evil individuals. Who does this to their kids? He’s SPEAKING on his personal behalf.”

If Wong fails to pay the restitution by the deadline, she dangers being sentenced to 1 12 months of jail time and a 12 months of necessary supervision. Though paying again the victims would evade jail, she would nonetheless have two felony convictions and two years of probation, in accordance with the DA’s Workplace.

Defending Your self From Journey Scams

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Photograph Courtesy of Nataliya Vaitkevich.

Nobody needs to get scammed particularly when they’re spending hundreds of {dollars} on a trip. Whereas there may be by no means a assured method to keep away from rip-off artists posing as journey brokers, there are just a few steps you may take to keep away from schemating journey brokers as finest as you may.

The very first thing it is best to do is double-check the credibility of a journey booker earlier than sending them funds. This consists of checking opinions on social media in addition to on the Higher Enterprise Bureau web site. It additionally by no means hurts posting a fast Fb standing or Tweet asking if anybody you recognize has ever booked by way of that company. This provides you with firsthand suggestions from vacationers who’ve labored with that company prior to now.

One other step you may take is confirming the journey booker has the correct bonds, licensing, and safety required for journey businesses in that state. Each US state requires journey company bonds. These bonds shield towards unscrupulous or unethical practices on the a part of the journey service by way of surety bond rules. If the journey agent you are contemplating reserving by way of would not have the correct bonds, you could need to rethink.

Lastly, examine in with all affiliate organizations and corporations to make sure your bookings and charges are in accordance with what the journey booker is telling you. If they’re reserving you lodge, flight, and excursions, name these locations to substantiate the bookings have been locked in and the dates. This can show you how to keep away from individuals like Wong and different brokers who take your cash with no intent of ever reserving your journey.